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Ways to Maximize Your Potential At College

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When a person considers making an investment, he has to consider several things, the cost, the return, and quite possibly the risk of failure. Attending college with prospects of gaining a degree is an investment. There is a cost, and there is a return. There is also a possible risk of failure. When you keep in mind the steep price of tuition for most colleges, failure should not be an option, and an eye for success should be the primary motivator. However, what does definitive success look like to a person wishing to gain a return on a college investment?

What many college students or high school students do not realize is that just because they graduate with a degree and a high grade point average, they should not necessarily define their success based on those accomplishments. As high school prepares a student for college, college prepares a student for the career world. How is it, then, that so many college graduates are working jobs not even closely related to the career they studied while at school?

There are many different dynamics within this topic that could give reasonable answers to that question, i.e., unstable economy, etc. In whatever way, a college student should not lose hope in his or her efforts to heighten their chances for career success pertinent to their study interests. It is up to the student to maximize his or her potential for success. Here are some tips:

Get Involved – Take Initiative

The popular platitude “get involved” will most likely sound like a broken record, and the wisdom in this message will diminish each time this piece of advice is offered. However, most college graduates will attest to the importance of getting involved at school. Why? Because it opens the door to networking, and you will find soon enough that networking is a treasure to your future career success.

The responsibility you have is to take initiative in getting to know people around you. This can be a difficult task for some, but there will come a time when breaking out of a comfort shell is mandatory. I have found that graduates, looking back on their college experiences, who passed on opportunities to branch out and welcome people into their life have had regrets.

Here are some examples of ways that you can get involved with your fellow class-mates:

1. Networking Websites

If you don’t have a Facebook profile, get one. Facebook is a tool specific to networking. Start with adding to your queue of friends every one of your classmates. This is an easy way to start building relationships and keep on top of upcoming events on campus, etc.

2. Form Study Groups

Secondly, start forming study groups with two to three individuals in a class. You will be able to not only build friendships, but you will be able to utilize these relationships as resources and support in that class, if necessary.

Time Management – Time is Money

The value of time at college is as valuable as the money you put into it. You can choose to be wise with your time or not. Either way, it passes, and once it does, there is no gaining it back. You will have, typically, four years to complete your degree, glean from academia what you need in order be successful in the work world, make friendships to increase your network of people, and grow. Spending your time outside of class in your dorm will get you nothing but an intimate relationship with your carpet. On the flip side, spending your free time drunk will have its own slew of bad results.

Be diligent about your time spent on weekends and your free time. Join a club or extra-curricular activity; make a list of “to-do’s.” Most importantly, find a balance. If you are the type of person that tends to overdo your schedule, be careful not to burn yourself out. The main focus in this segment is to treat time with value, to abstain from idleness, isolation and irresponsibility.

Career Focus

Some might argue that going into your first year of college without a career focus is absolutely acceptable as the first couple of years should be spent focusing on courses in general education. It is my belief that having some sort of interest or vision of what you would like to study and/or become going into your first two years of college can be beneficial and in some ways necessary.

Benefits of an Early Career Focus:

1. General Education Can Become Tedious

General education courses are simply extensions of what you’ve learned in high school. The tediousness of continuing these subjects for two more years, likely, can be overbearing for some and cause them to drop-out. If, with a career focus, you can incorporate some classes that are material to your interest, you can add a little more excitement to the rigors of schoolwork.

2. More Time to Decide and Network

If you have a career focus early on, it allows you to have more time to determine whether or not this is an area of interest for you. Additionally, it gives you more opportunities to become involved on campus in your field of interest, to intern, and meet people who have common pursuits.


College is a time for growth. By making the decision to attend a four year school and pursuing a degree you are automatically maximizing your potential in life. Take extra steps to maximize your potential at school so your life investment will invariably come out with topmost return!

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